Thursday, September 01, 2011



Shenkman Arts Centre concert
announced for Thursday, December 1

Who: Reclusive singer LEON REDBONE, with ragtime/stride pianist Paul Asaro

What: Early American jazz, blues and pop music, delivered with the dry wit of the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields

Why: An extremely rare opportunity to hear music’s most mysterious and memorable artist

When: Thursday December 1. Performance: 8.00 p.m.

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., Ottawa ON

How much: Tickets $37.50 incl. HST, plus s/c @ box office:
613 580-2700 (toll-free 1-866-752-5231)

NOTE: Tickets go on sale Friday, September 2.

Leon Redbone —a master guitarist, dry comedian, and a warm and witty singer who recreates the classic jazz, blues and pop music of the ’20s and ’30s — will make his first appearance in Ottawa since, as he put it “I can’t remember when.”
He’ll appear at the Shenkman Arts Centre Thursday December 1; ticket gon sale this Friday September 2.
In fact, he probably does know when he was last in Ottawa, but he has always cultivated an aura of mystery about his background, in part because he wants the emphasis to be placed on the music, rather than the “personality” behind it.

He does, however, claim to have been born in 1929 (on the date of the stock market crash), but later told interviewers he was born in Bombay during a monsoon to violinist Niccolo Paganini and Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. (It should be noted that Paganini died in 1840, and Lind in 1887).

Mr. Redbone is a laid-back singer, a dry story-teller, and an archivist with wide musical tastes — as long as the music is more than 70 years old. His concerts will likely include forgotten old pop songs, classic ragtime, blues from the likes of Lonnie Johnson or Blind Blake, and jazz standards by Fats Waller or Dixieland jazz pioneer Nick La Rocca.

He began his career in Toronto in 1970 and in his early days, he could be found in the pool hall that used to exist in the entrance to a downtown subway station; if you asked for Mr. Grunt, he would, guardedly, answer the telephone. A fixture in local folk clubs, he also had an acoustic duo, called Little Sonny, with David Wilcox.

Since then he has gone on to make numerous television performances (he was a regular for many years on the Johnny Carson Show, as well as on Saturday Night Live), and he has recorded some 15 albums, the first in 1975. He has toured around the world, appeared in numerous television commercials, and was even featured in a Far Side cartoon. He recently recorded material for the television series Boardwalk Empire.

A superb acoustic guitarist, Mr. Redbone is also a skilled pool player and is dangerous with a deck of cards; people are advised not to engage him in either pursuit.



"He's just amazing. He's probably the best combination singer-guitarist I've heard in years. I spent an afternoon with him in a hotel room and I was wondering when he was going to become normal. He never did." — Bonnie Raitt, quoted in Rolling Stone

Mr. Redbone is available for interviews — for more information,
photos, please contact:
Richard Flohil / Beth Ward (416) 351-1323


"Listen to the music all the time."

Beth Ward
Richard Flohil and Associates


No comments: